County agrees to purchase North Fork Preserve
Suffolk County has reached an agreement to purchase the bulk of the 311-acre North Fork Preserve property in Northville and preserve the land as open space.
But first, Riverhead Town must agree to pay 10 percent of the cost on a 90-acre portion of the land that will be used for active recreation, according to County Executive Steve Levy.
“This would be a major addition to our open space program,” Mr. Levy said in an interview Monday.
The property is divided into two parcels, a 172-acre parcel to the north and a 139-acre parcel to the south. Myron Kaplan and the estate of Robert Krudop own the southern piece and also are the majority shareholders in the northern piece.
Mr. Levy said that a 90-acre section of the 311 acres would be set aside for active recreation, such as tennis, while the rest of the land would be preserved as open space.
Mr. Levy said town approval is the last piece needed for the acquisition to move forward.
He said the property owners have signed a letter of intent to sell the land, but have not signed a contract.
Supervisor Sean Walter said the Town Board has not decided whether or not to put up the money, which he said would amount to about $500,000.
“The town has very little open space money left,” Mr. Walter said at last Thursday’s Town Board work session. “[But] if we don’t do it, we’re never getting this preserved.”
The 311 acres would make it one of the largest open space acquisitions in the county, said Mr. Levy. He estimated there is only about 18,000 acres of land in Suffolk County left in which the owners are willing to preserve as open space.
The county executive said that because the deal is not yet in contract, he cannot disclose sales prices.
Part of the North Fork Preserve was used for years as a private hunting club.
Mr. Levy’s office said it’s “not likely” that hunting would be permitted on the land if acquired by the county.